Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 13th Jul 17, 7:39 PM
    • 1,459Posts
    • 6,937Thanks
    Taking it slowly, but doing it well.
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 17, 7:39 PM
    Taking it slowly, but doing it well. 13th Jul 17 at 7:39 PM
    Good evening all,

    I'm rejoining this thread and you lovely people after a break of a few years.

    I've got a new user name, but only because I can't get back into my old account. (My old diary was called 'Today is not a NSD'

    I've kept the start of my username the same, so it's still a big wave hello from me, Wish.

    A quick (I promise) update from me.

    I'm about to turn 35 (still wish I was 25)

    I now have a 1 year old little boy - Pickle

    I'm currently on extended maternity leave/career break/unemployed (I took the statutory maternity pay from my high pressured, long hours, no social life job, handed my notice in whilst on mat leave and , because I didn't take any occupational maternity pay, I didn't have to repay any money. )

    Husband is still a freelance audio visual engineer in the entertainments industry

    Still in our 2 bed Victorian terrace, which we still love.

    We still want to be mortgage free, but it's going to take a little longer than we thought when I was last here.

    So, why am I back?
    I need some motivation and some accountability, need to get back on the no spend days. Need to curb some bad financial habits that have crept back in.
    Need to lose some weight - nsd will help by no cake shop stops or treats from the discount supermarket at the end of the road.

    I'm at the end of my maternity savings.

    When I found out I was pregnant I stopped overpaying the mortgage and diverted all that cash into a maternity leave 'fund' to that I added my statutory maternity pay as it came in, £5k from an inheritance and a £5k gift from my parents.
    The total of those savings have allowed us to live as we were for 15.5 months without hubby having to contribute anymore to our household expenses than he had previously.

    I am very pleased with what we have achieved. But, that 'half month' is August and then the money is gone, I have no income and we will have to manage on hubby's self employment earnings.

    I am meant to be applying for agency work, in my field, for 3 days a week from September. It's not happened yet due to hubby being run off his feet with work. I'm not worried about this, I will sort it when I can.

    We have no debts, other than our mortgage (which currently stands at just less than £37k and has 12years 3 months left to run)

    We receive child benefit, but nothing else (previous warnings have been too high to receive tax credits or anything else)
    We have no family living nearby, so will need to pay out for childcare come September for 3 days a week, as I'll be agency and hubby is self employed we can't get childcare vouchers, but should be able to open one of the new tax free childcare accounts saving us 20% on childcare costs, which will be around £120 a week.

    This is what I already do:

    YNAB all my accounts - this is how I've managed to have 15 months off work
    Use ynab to save for all annual bills, overpaying each section so I have a little bonus when it comes to paying the bill

    Meal plan & cook from scratch

    Try not to spend too much on things for Pickle, and try to sell on things he has finished with (this has had mixed success)

    I'd love to have your support as I attempt to pay off the mortge earlier than planned. I'm aiming, from August, to overpay the same amount as the interest added to the account. This isn't much, but it's a realistic challenge given out current circumstances.

    Thank you for reading

Page 1
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 13th Jul 17, 11:26 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:26 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:26 PM
    I've spent some time this evening updating my YNAB. I need to get back into the habit of updating it 'on the go' I have the phone app, I really should use it.

    Today I have spent:

    £4.20 on a daily bus ticket. I like to have some 'car free' days as I get more interaction with Pickle when he's in the Sling or pushchair and he doesn't get disturbed if he has a nap.

    £5 in the co-op on a meal deal and some strawberries (this is the spending that needs to stop)

    £8 on a pair of jeans in the clearance of one of my favourite stores.

    This month's mortgage interest was £74.35
    So that's my target for mortgage overpayment before 1st August.
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 14th Jul 17, 7:22 AM
    • 2,736 Posts
    • 13,572 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 7:22 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 7:22 AM
    Welcome back!
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into March 2025... 39//120 Payments Challenge, Diary Reduction £42,061.17
    Aug 2009: £163,051 // Current: £93,938.84 // Avg Daily Interest £4.22
    MFiT-T4 #8 - 74.24% of £41,000
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 14th Jul 17, 6:02 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:02 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:02 PM
    Thanks for the welcome back.

    I had a little search for my old diary and it was interesting to see where we've come from.

    In January 2015....
    Student loan: approx £3000 to go, but payments taken out of my salary. stufent loan now paid off - did a bit of overpaying in the end just to get rid of it as it was a bit of a nuisance in the end.

    Mortgage: £49,336, approx 50% LTV, 15.5 years to go, but we have been overpaying, so I suspect it is less than that already. Fixed rate of 4.49% until April 2016mortgage now £36,849.28 and house worth just over 100k, 12 years 3 months to run on the term.
    I'm really impressed by this, didn't realise quite how well we'd done in about 18months really as I stopped overpaying properly when pregnant. We have reduced, can't remember what to, but it's fixed until next April

    Personal loan: £2750, 10payments to go (was a little silly with my spending last year, so consolidated debts into the personal loan, I know I could have taken out a 0% card! but I was too scared that I would just spend on it as well) paid this off as planned, haven't got myself in trouble again
    Credit card: £0 still £0 I only use it for Online or big orders and pay it off straight away. We really should look at a credit cArd that rewards us, but I probably wouldn't be accepted at the moment as I have no income.

    Rainy day fund: £810 (husband has a bigger 'rainy day fund', as he's self employed I take care of all the regular bills, he deals with treats & one off big stuff, like a new car for me) a what??? Rainy day fund, after 15 months of Maternity leave you must be joking! Hubby still has money squirrelled here, there and everywhere though so all is good.
    Christmas savings :£150 (£50 a month put in) still do this, gives us £600 for Christmas which last year included Pickle'S pressies too, have already started spending towards Christmas as I saw some perfect gifts.
    Summer holiday spends: £400 (£50 a month put in) just drawn this money out of the savings and into the spends account as we go away tomorrow. Have spent nearly £200 on shopping for the theee weeks we are away though, supermarket delivery arriving between 2&4 at the cottage tomorrow. It does include £50 (dear lord help me reduce this!!) of Pickle snacks & fruit pouches and other expensive baby food, I did tell you I'd got into some bad habits As well as the baby snacks (he eats main meals same as us)I've ordered all his nappies & wipes and I need new toiletries so ordered those to be delivered rather than Cart it all up there.
    Inheritance: approx £12-15k locked away with ns&i - although it's my money to spend, I would always check with my mum before using it, and would always want it to go on something I would keep forever and see - I think mum would prefer that I spent it on topping up my salary whilst taking maternity leave though!
    well, this is done to around £10k now (need to check) as I did what my mum really wanted, used it to pay for extended maternity leave and it gave me the freedom to give up my job to spend more time with pickle.

    So, all in all not in a bad way. Will have a think about some goals and post today's spending once Pickle is asleep.


    Ps- if anyone knows how I subscribe to threads from my phone browser, please let me know as I can't work it out.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 14th Jul 17, 6:51 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:51 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 6:51 PM
    So today:
    Spends: Mum's coffee at the local cafe, good chin wag, children playing, paid for from the cash in my purse.

    And that's it, not bad at all.

    Reduce the food bill - it's the baby convenience food for his snacks that does it. Really need to
    1) make my own oaty bars
    2) make my own gingerbread biscuits
    3) be brave, take fresh fruit out with us. (But the pouches are so easy and so much less mess)

    Overpay by the interest amount each month (about £75)

    Register with agency - will fill in the forms while I'm away

    Find a childminder - I don't want to, but I need to.

    Will need to SMART by goals a bit, but that's enough for now. I need to holiday proof the house.

    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 15th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • 1,298 Posts
    • 7,107 Thanks
    • #6
    • 15th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    Hello Wish, welcome back and congratulations on little pickle.

    Not sure if your phone is the same as mine, but to subscribe I have to turn my phone to landscape then the subscribe button appears at the top of the thread.

    Enjoy your holiday!
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 15th Jul 17, 2:35 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    • #7
    • 15th Jul 17, 2:35 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jul 17, 2:35 PM
    Thank you. Sorted, landscape mode required.

    My life has improved. Thank you.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 15th Jul 17, 8:23 PM
    • 54,970 Posts
    • 219,419 Thanks
    • #8
    • 15th Jul 17, 8:23 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jul 17, 8:23 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 15th Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    • #9
    • 15th Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've got subscribing sorted now so can follow along more easily, and read through some diaries over a few days.

    First day away today - it's nit really a holiday it's a work gig for hubby with accommodation that can accommodate the three of us, so we get to have hubby around a bit, but he is working.

    I save the money for this annual, 3 week trip because there is a lot of networking pub trips required so rather than blowing the usual budget I save specifically so I'm not stressing about the spends. Obviously I'd rather pay the £600 into the mortgage, but not everything is simple.

    In pre pickle days I are with the techie crew, but that won't work anymore so £185 of my budget went to mr supermarket delivery. That did include lots of baby related items such as nappies.

    In addition to this spend. I also hit the local market for a few bits:

    Fresh fruit & veg - loads! £7.50
    Bread, cheese scone for pickle'a lunch &. 2 huge iced finger buns £2,50
    Chilli jam x2 -'& curry sauce (from an 'artisan producer' £10

    So, quite spendy really but..

    When travelling up this morning I did not stop at Maccy D'S for a breakfast wrap, or the lovely service station for any form of beverage - at least £10 saved that I'd normally spend.
    No ice cream, coffee or cakes out purchased.

    Aim for tomorrow: a nsd.
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 16th Jul 17, 10:04 AM
    • 2,083 Posts
    • 12,018 Thanks
    Hello Wish,

    Welcome back and happy new diary!

    Well done on funding an extended maternity leave, they are only young once and it's great you've been able to get so much time with Pickle.

    In terms of pouches, I'm sure I've seen kits to make your own which might bring the price down a bit? Or embrace the mess and use one of those bibs with sleeves, easy to keep their clothes clean and they get better at eating (a bit) less messily with practice!

    Hope you enjoy your time away, you've saved for it so enjoy spending it!
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 16th Jul 17, 11:11 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    Thanks for the suggestion about the pouches MW, I've looked into it before, for the mushed up meals at the start of weaning, but I'm pretty sure I'd make more mess filling them than Pickle eating non pouched food. We bought him one of those snack pots with the rubber flappy lid thing a few weeks back. That seems to work ok. I just need to remember to take it with me.

    I'm a huge worrier about plans not going right and things happening (or not happening) so always have a pre packed/ long life lunch and or tea with me, in case the worst happens.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 16th Jul 17, 11:15 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    So today has been a NSD. Woop woop de woop! A couple of times I nearly caved on an unnecessary purchase, but the power of the nsd kept me on track.
    Looking through my purse this morning I found out that I didn't need to take the cash out yesterday to pay for market goods, I could have done it with the money already in my purse.

    Today is actually a very boring MFW day for us, but no dramas
    Means no spending.

    I wonder what tomorrow holds....
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 17th Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    2 updates from me tonight - you'll see why and MAN DO I NEED TOUR HELP!!!

    So today's update...

    I've been a bit spendy
    £22 split between the supermarket and the butchers

    £5 on the toddler group entry & tea & toast and snack for Pickle (which he didn't really eat- grrrr)

    £8 on family afternoon drinks and cake

    £18 on friend's little boy's birthday present (I'll get half back from another friend as we go in together for such things )

    Definitely some fat to trim there.

    Aim for tomorrow - only spend on in afternoon drinks with friend

    And all this is from our special 'we're away on hubby'S job' budget so, does it really count?
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 17th Jul 17, 11:03 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    Ok, lightbulb moment from me this evening. - I'm warning you all now, this could be a long post.

    Way back in the dim and distant past hubby got made redundant from his well paid, corporate av job. He decided to go freelance/self employed (with the back up of redundancy pay, owed holiday and overtime pay and his last two months basic pay squirrelled away to cover costs should work be slow)

    When that happened I took on responsibility for all the household bills, hubby only being required to put £300 a month into the joint account so we could eat foods other than beans on toast.

    As my salary increased (to that of a senior classroom teacher with other responsibility payments) I continued to pay all the bills and the extra pay became mortgage overpayments. Hubby'S business did well most months, he upped his contribution slightly, but the 'roof over our heads' bills were all mine. (He pays for all the luxuries, holidays meals out etc)

    Some months I was clearing £1k capital on the mortgage just from my salary.

    When I found out I was pregnant I stopped overpaying the mortgage, and diverted the funds to my isa.

    This money, plus statutory maternity pay, a £5k inheritance & £5k gift from my parents has meant I've been able to 'pay' myself my previous wage (minus what I would have op'd on the mortgage or was saving for mat leave) for 15.75 months.
    Hubby did not up his contribution in this time, knowing that once the money was gone, he'd have to contribute 100% of the required budget from that point.

    We've reached that point.

    Tonight I sat down to work out (with ynab'S help) how much money he needs to put in each account.

    All is good with the monthly bills & the money we put aside each month's to pay the annual bills.

    But I was shocked at the amount we spend on food/entertainment/ household goods/coffee shops and all the other wants -£700 a month!!!

    This needs to come down. That's awful. I didn't realise it was that high.

    Help me please?

    What should I be aiming for for a household of 3 (2 adults and a 1 year old?)

    I can definitely reduce the supermarket bill by avoiding buying high salt/sugar/starch foods that want. (It will also help me lose weight which is much needed)

    The groups I go to with Pickle don't cost a huge amount, the most expensive is swimming at £51 for 10 lessons - which is actually a bargain as it's council run, not one of these private baby swim sessions.


    Help please
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 18th Jul 17, 7:05 AM
    • 2,736 Posts
    • 13,572 Thanks
    Mrs SJ technique to rain herself in a few years ago was to stop using cards completely. We set an appropriate bugbet and then each month she withdrew cash and separated in multiple envelopes (petrol, food, personal spends) for each week. She felt she then had control.
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into March 2025... 39//120 Payments Challenge, Diary Reduction £42,061.17
    Aug 2009: £163,051 // Current: £93,938.84 // Avg Daily Interest £4.22
    MFiT-T4 #8 - 74.24% of £41,000
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 18th Jul 17, 11:08 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    Thanks for the suggestion SJ, but I'm not sure it will work for me. As far as I'm concerned money, in cash form can just be spent, I'm actually better leaving money in the bank.

    Haven't used my cards today so that's good, just a couple of drinks as the day has been so hot.

    I did however make an error yesterday, I paid cash in the butchers, so my £22 grocery shop yesterday, drops to the £11 card spend) as far as YNAB is concerned.

    Exhausted tonight.
    Sleep well everyone.

    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 19th Jul 17, 9:12 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    Another boring day as far as being mf is concerned - sorry I wish I was more interesting.

    We took Pickle swimming this morning (hubby paid from his account) and then he took us out for brunch on expenses.

    I splashed out on a cold drink this afternoon, but paid cash so, although not a nsd, I haven't used my cards.

    I've spent this evening reconnecting with survey sites:

    Valued opinion: reconnected updated profile £10 in account (will probably use for Amazon vouchers when enough money) no surveys available.

    You gov: reconnected 500 points no surveys available

    Prolific- signed up, took 2 surveys hopefully £5 in the account soon

    One poll : attempting to sign up, waiting for confirmation email.

    Any more I should have a go at? Preferably tablet/phone friendly ones for when I'm cuddling Pickle in the middle of the night so he goes back to sleep?

    Any vouchers I get will go towards gifts for Christmas/birthdays.

    Any cash will go into a separate little YNAB category to (hopefully) fund my knitting.

    That's all from me for tonight, going to have a read up of other diaries shortly, but a G&at is calling me.

    Night all

    • DeterminedSingleMummy
    • By DeterminedSingleMummy 20th Jul 17, 12:58 AM
    • 201 Posts
    • 927 Thanks

    I was a bit like you and didn't realise how much I actually spent until I wrote it all down and saw everything! Now I know where I was spending money where I shouldn't have been and I am super prepared everywhere I go! I meal prep healthy snacks and lunch for my DD. And she only drinks water. We find free events to go to to keep costs down. Soft play can add up to quite a lot especially when u add food and coffee on top of the entrance fee. For her swimming lessons I don't budget for, I sell things on ebae and have sold enough things since March to pay for all of 2017s lessons. These are £60 per half term. Do you keep your supermarket reciepts? Maybe highlight a few items that you don't really need in red. Highlight some items that you can find a cheaper alternative e.g. supermarket brand in yellow and items which you def want in green. That might lower your supermarket bill a little.

    Good luck with it I will be subscribing x
    Balance at start of mortgage Dec 2011 £87500
    1 Jan 2015 = £73,735 Overpayments = £3,360 (average £280 p/m)
    1 Jan 2016 = £66,558 Overpayments = £4,770 (average £397.50 p/m)
    1 Jan 2017 = £57,756 Overpayments so far Jan £0 Feb £550 Mar £3022 April £690 May £1513 total £5775
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 20th Jul 17, 7:54 AM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    Thank you for stopping by, reading, commenting & subscribing.

    I love the idea of highlighting the supermarket receipts, they usually get ditched once I've entered them on YNAB.
    I'll start doing it while I'm here (just to get me into the habit) and make a proper effort when I get home.

    Little Pickle's activities don't cost much (apart from swimming which I still see as a bargain)
    A group of friends and I have a fb group where we post the cheap and free things we find to do. We keep it secret though, as one friend said, 'it's just a list of when I'm out of the house'

    We soft play or trampoline a maximum of once a week, less than that normally and nEver in school holidays. And we either go first thing in a morning and be home for lunch or after lunch and be home for tea, so no extra spending.
    The trampoline place has a fab off peak toddler deal: £5 for as much bounce as you like and a toddler meal (sandwich or spaghetti hoops on toast and a drink) I had to buy socks for me on the first trip, but keep them in the car now along with a pair of pickle'S socks that have grip on the bottom, just so we are prepared.

    He only drinks water too.

    Just had a thought. Hubby can claim tax relief on food purchased when working away from home overnight, he's here for a month. Could we claim the tax relief on a proportion of the supermarket delivery we had sent here? Obviously we'd take out any food that was specifically Pickle's then claim a third of the rest of the bill.
    Anybody know?
    Won't work out much but as they say 'every little helps'

    Not sure what today holds in store for us, weather is back to normal for here, need to Consult my list of tea ideas for tea tonight and get that going for us (then plan out more specifically the rest of the week)

    Have a good day everyone, I'll be back later with a financial update.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 20th Jul 17, 8:54 PM
    • 1,459 Posts
    • 6,937 Thanks
    So today I have:

    Created a signature with my goals:

    Mortgage: overpay £75 per month this is the amount of interest we are charged each month, so I'm aiming to overpay by that amount.
    Surveys: £20 a month in cash or vouchers not sure how possible this is, but in two days on one survey site I have £6.70 pending we'll see.
    Temperature blanket: End of May by End of July this is a craft project I'm doing, you have a set of colours to knit a blanket, each colour represents a range of temperatures, you knit one row a day, the highest temperature of the day determines the colour of wool you use for that day. I'm a bit behind though, so need to catch up.
    Keep a cash spending diary spent some pennies today on a diary (academic so no dates wasted) So I can keep track of my cash spending. I usually just record what I take out of the bank as cash, assigned on ynab to whichever category I'm most likely to use it for. By recording my cash spending hopefully I'll have an even better idea where my money goes and I can cut down on my £700 a month spending pot.

    So today I have been a little cash spendy. Haven't got the diary in front of me, but I've spent about £19 on the diary, a treat breakfast, bread and meat (bread and meat from the market so a bit more expensive than a supermarket, but I'm supporting local business.)

    Tomorrow is the last day of our first week away, I'd save £600 for the three weeks. That seems like a huge amount of money, but, as I seem to spend £700 a month normally, it's not actually that far out of my usual spending amounts..

    After this first week and with some big spends to set us up here supermarket delivery etc, I've got
    £278.74 left for the next two weeks or:
    £139.37 a week
    Or: £18.58 a day (including tomorrow) so...

    Let's say £15 a day and see if we can have some nsd as well, tomorrow should be a nsd.

    Bring on the challenge.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s £34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 £1600ish/£2,500
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

94Posts Today

1,497Users online

Martin's Twitter